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Dr Katherine Baldock

Plant-pollinator interactions in urban ecosystems; plant-pollinator networks

My research interests lie in the field of community ecology, in particular community-level interactions between plants and their pollinators and the study of these relationships using interaction networks.

My current research is focused on plant-pollinator communities in urban areas and how urban habitat management affects insect pollinators. I am currently a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow based in the School of Biological Sciences and the Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol. The aim of the fellowship is to improve the value of UK urban areas for insect pollinators by working with important stakeholder groups including urban land managers, policymakers, conservation practitioners, businesses, academic researchers and the landscape industry.

I am also collaborating with Professor Pat Willmer and Dr Gavin Ballantyne from the University of St Andrews on a NERC-funded project examining the incorporation of individual pollinator effectiveness into networks.

The Urban Pollinators project

Until October 2014 I worked as a postdoctoral researcher managing the research project "Urban Pollinators: their ecology and conservation". This large-scale project studied insect pollinators and the plants they feed on in urban habitats. The work was funded as part of the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative and was a collaborative project led by the University of Bristol.

Project collaborators are the University of Leeds, University of Reading and University of Edinburgh. Project partners are Bristol City Council, Avon Wildlife Trust, Reading Borough Council, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, City of Edinburgh Council and the National Museums of Wales, Cardiff.

The project has examined plant-pollinator communities in replicate cities, farms and nature reserves, sampled 700 sites in four cities to assess the suitability of urban habitats for pollinators and planted 60 pollen and nectar-rich flower meadows to examine their benefit for pollinators.

Further details can be found on the project website www.bristol.ac.uk/urban-pollinators which will continue to be updated during my fellowship.

Research keywords

  • pollinators
  • pollination
  • bees
  • community
  • networks
  • urban
  • savanna
  • Kenya
  • knowledge exchange
  • policy

Research methods

  • Ecological network analysis

Collaborations

  • Professor Pat Willmer (University of St Andrews)
  • Professor Graham Stone (University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor Bill Kunin (University of Leeds)
  • Professor Simon Potts (University of Reading)
  • Professor Jane Memmott (University of Bristol)
  • Professor Todd Palmer (University of Florida)
  • Dr Mark Goddard (University of Newcastle)
  • Dr Phillip Staniczenko (University of Maryland & SESYNC)
  • Dr Luísa Carvalheiro (Universidade de Brasília)
  • Dr Mary Gikungu (National Museums of Kenya)
  • Dr Gavin Ballantyne (University of St Andrews)
  • Dr Anna Scott (University of Reading)